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Espresso of Innovation: Bieber in Horsemeat Banking Scandal

by Dan West, innovation manager, UK

Hello and welcome to this week’s Espresso of Innovation; a roundup of the hottest news and strongest stories from the world of creativity and technology filtered into a quick shot of inspiration. This week we’re talking about newsjacking, but by the time you’ve read this, its timeliness might have expired.
Real-time bidding has been reshaping the way online ad space has been bought and sold for some time now. The rise of social media and mobile has led to a similar real-time leap in the actual ad creative process. One of the new approaches being taken is ‘newsjacking’. This is the process by which you benefit from news stories by finding an angle for your brand or business and thereby generate media coverage for yourself or your business. Over the last month there have been some great examples at the recent Super Bowl and also some less effective examples at this year's Oscars.
Social Satire
When this year’s Super Bowl had a blackout, within a few minutesTide, Oreo, Audi, VW, One, PBS, Walgreens and Calvin Klein all jumped on the bandwagon with some intelligent and therefore successful tweets.
The Oscars in contrast was mainly made up of pre-made tweets or real-time tweets that were just plain boring – though at leastGoogle, Pantene and JC Penny attempted it. You have to remember, real-time marketing is great but without some creativity injected into it and a 'tone of voice', like all marketing, it will fall flat.
A Pope resigning hadn't happened for 600 years. But with Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, job sitesJobsite and Bounties were quick to advertise the position.
In order to take advantage of these newsjacking opportunities it takes organisation and pre-planning. A big event like the Super Bowl might well justify a team on standby. More day-to-day, setting up alerts of terms you want to newsjack is probably more realistic.
And let’s not forget that the usual rules of correctness apply.Kenneth Cole famously got it wrong when they tweeted “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumour is they heard our new spring collection is now available online…- KC.”
Smart Strategies
Real-time marketing allows us to be that much more intelligent with our media buying – especially on Twitter. The AARP, an over 50s organisation, did this effectively during theState of the Union. Rather than bidding on words that were important to them such as State Of The Union, where they were up against the National Rifle Association, they bid on a little old lady called Desiline Victor who was referenced by Obama for waiting three hours to vote. This got them far greater exposure at a fraction of the price.
Real-time marketing manifests itself in many ways. You don’t just have to use social media to fuel it. Location can also be a relevant trigger, with geo-fencing being a very successful tool to encourage people to consider your brand when out and about.Best Buy’s recent Location Based Services (LBS) campaign in the US has been very successful for them.
Brand Benefits
Real-time marketing is an exciting area for brands to focus on and particularly newsjacking. However, to do it well you need to plan in advance, react quickly and put creativity at the heart of it. To do that, companies need to look at how they structure their communications process. If brands get it right the returns on the investment can be enormous, including engaging new audiences, boosting SEO and developing areas of thought leadership.